NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking to Stephanie Link, co-portfolio manager for Action Alerts PLUS, about Obama's latest proposal to cut emissions from power plants by more than 30% by 2030. I cannot help but think this is another great reason to continue to accumulate natural gas stocks and continue to shun shares of coal and coal mining companies.
Even though the emissions proposals are going to have to go through a long period of comment from the industry and refinement before any hard numbers will be agreed to, it delivers on a promise that the president made to his "green" base about climate change. Obama proposed a plan for emissions cuts for existing electricity production that mirrors the cuts hes put in place for new power plant construction.
Since 75% of the carbon emissions from power plants come from coal, there can be little doubt that the Obama proposals will have their greatest negative effect on coal miners and coal stocks. But the new proposals will also pressure states to continue the conversion of power plants to running natural gas, which has a much improved carbon footprint.
The new EPA proposal, along with natural gas sequestration, dropping stockpiles and the coming advent of exported natural gas in the form of LNG, reinforces natural gas as my sleeper pick for a revitalizing energy boom that will gain strength through 2014 and into 2015.
Along with Stephanie, I like Southwestern (SWN). I think that Ultra Petroleum (UPL) and Devon (DVN) hold long-term value. Stephanie also likes some of the materials providers for the continuing infrastructure build-out for a natural gas resurgence and mentions Chicago Bridge and Iron (CBI) and Fluor (FLR).